The main purposes of a Heating, Ventilation, and Air-Conditioning (HVAC) system are to help maintain good indoor air quality through adequate ventilation with filtration and provide thermal comfort. HVAC systems are among the largest energy consumers in schools. The choice and design of the HVAC system can also affect many other high performance goals, including water consumption (water cooled air conditioning equipment) and acoustics (See Acoustics).
HVAC systems control the ambient environment (temperature, humidity, air flow, and air filtering) and must be planned for and operated along with other data center components such as computing hardware, cabling, data storage, fire protection, physical security systems and power. The selection of an HVAC contractor is an important step in planning a data center.